Nintendo Wii U, to Feature Google Maps Next Year

Nintendo Wii U | Wii U Official Website

Nintendo revealed an additional feature to their Wii U console last Wednesday, showing off a Google Maps application. The application also comes in with Street View for the gaming system.

During the Nintendo Direct video conference in Japan, President Satoru Iwata demonstrated the application. The demonstration shows Street View displayed on the GamePad’s screen, while the television shows an overhead map view.

With the help of the GamePad’s accelerometer, users can move the controller 360 degrees around their body to see the street in every direction while navigating Street View. It can also be projected on a TV while moving the GamePad to look around.

What’s interesting about this, though, is that the video demonstration is surprisingly smooth. There were no lags between moving the controller and what’s shown on the GamePad screen either.

Getting Inspiration from Panorama View App

Google Maps’ Street View function on Wii U was inspired by the Panorama View App. The upcoming app was first shown at a tech demo during E3 2012, and it allows users to also get a 360 view of scenes and videos.

Panorama View App’s full version is set to be released on spring 2013. The application will also feature a guided London tour atop a double bus, or a rickshaw ride around Kyoto.

It will be available in Japan for free within the first two months after its release. After that, it will become a paid application, although Nintendo is yet to reveal the price. In addition, the Panorama View App will be available as a paid application in United States and United Kingdom.

Google Maps on Wii U: Pricing and Availability

On the other hand, Google Maps will become available on Wii U during the first quarter of 2013, while its Japanese version will be released by the end of January.

This application is ideal for the Wii U GamePad since it functions as a tablet in one way or another. The console’s drawback, though, is that is can’t be used if it is more that 25 feet away from the console.

As for the pricing details, Nintendo hasn’t announced how much the application will cost. This also means that it is yet to be known whether Google Maps will be a free or paid application. Nevertheless, the inclusion of the mapping service on the console goes to show that it has found a new home on Wii U.

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